Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review: Between Mosque And Military

Between Mosques and Military by Hussain Haqqani - former ambassador of Pakistan to United States- is an excellent description of the influences the orthodoxy and army had on Pakistan. 

Between Mosque and Military by
Hussain Haqqani

Using his vast experience as a secretary to Nawaz Sharref, as a member of Jammiat (student organization of Jamaat-ul-Islami), as a close ally to Benazir Bhutto, as an ambassador to Sri Lanka and United States of America, as a journalist, and as a professor at the John Hopkins University, Haqqani summarises his intellectual and political interpretation of Pakistan's history. It is not a political memoir rather a search for the origin of Islamization in Pakistan and its consequences. 

Mr. Haqqani considers the Objective Resolution (1949) to be the most important document in the process of Islamization. The document give a clear direction for making Pakistan a religious state from "an ideological state". The history which develops post 1949 is a substantiation, and not an aberration, of the Objective Resolution. 

Mr. Haqqani considers the 1951 Ahmedia roits in Punjab as the synopsis of Mullah-Military relationship. In 1951, the mullahs attacked Ahmedi's worship place in Lahore. This disrupted the law and order situation of a newly born country and henceforth, army was called in to control the situation. The army implemented martial law in Lahore, but remained there even after peace was restored in the province. This 1951 incident was later repeated on a larger scale in 1958, 1969, 1977, and 1999. 

In 1958 there was a constitutional crisis for which the political system had given an inadequate solution. In 1969, Ayub Khan handed power to Yahya Khan as he had no confidence in Pakistani politician. On the other hand, East Pakistanis considered this a tactic to keep Bengalis out of politics as power was to be transferred to a Bengali national assembly speaker, Abdul Jabbar. In 1977, Zia made a claim that Pakistan has reached a deplorable situation in Bhutto's rule, hence a martial law is inevitable to save Pakistan. The martial law of law of 1999 was similar to that of 1977.

The Islamization process got a boost in 1973 constitution when Islam was declared as a state religion. The second amendment made the Ahemdis a non-Muslim sect. This may be called the first theocratic amendment in the constitution. The constitution had the power to declare someone a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

Gen. Zia took this process to new heights by implementing the Zakat and Ushr law in 1980 and hence forth introducing his version of interest free banking in 1981. The Afghan war of 1980s in Zia's era brought a wave of radicalism into Pakistan which generated a far more radical clergy influencing the state with more power. This radical clergy was subsidised by the general which further catalysed the process of Islamization. Gen. Zia's reign can be called the 'Golden Age of Islamization' in Pakstan.

Hussain Haqqani also gives a detailed analysis on the various politico-Islamic movements which developed in the course of six decades, i.e. PNA (Pakistan National Alliance), IJI (Islami Jamoori Ithihad [United Front of Islam]), and MMA (Muthihada Majlis-e-Amal [United Action Conference]). Mr. Haqqani writes down how ISI played an integral role in helping these movements to prosper and influence political development. PNA played a major role in dismantling the constitutional government of Mr. Bhutto and helped Gen. Zia to come in power. The IJI -a collaboration between ISI and major political parties- helped Nawaz Shareef  topple Banazir Bhutto's government in 1990. The MMA helped Pervez Musharraf to constitutionally rule to country while they themselves had a government in Khyber Pakhoonkhua (former NWFP). 

Haqqani predicts a bleak future and predicts that the Islamist would remain in power. He writes: 

"The Islamists are not content with having a secondary role in national affairs, and they have acquired a momentum of their own. Years of religious rhetoric have influenced a younger generation of military officers; the ISI, in particular, includes a large number of officials who assimilated the Islamist beliefs they were rhetorically called on to support in the course of jihad in Kashmir and Aghanistan."

The United States also has an important role to play. They should apply pressure on the Pakistan army for stop supporting the Islamists in the country. A big part of the US aid goes to military development. The US should develop a policy that directs this aid towards education and health. Lastly, Hussain argues, the United States should demand reforms vis-a-vis the military and security services in Pakistan.

Haqqani's book is a good read for anyone who wants to understand the deep nexus of Islam and army in Pakistan.


  1. Salam! here you can download Keep Mosque Fragrant, a most authentic and renowned Islamic Book.
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  2. all the thing wrote by haqqani in his book are fully based on their biased and prejudiced mindset..shame on him